Killer Sunset at The Sisters near Carson Pass
Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail
Need a Map? Lost Al near Lost Keys Lake
Emigrant Wilderness under Tropical Thunderstorm, September.
Round Top Lake
Whitebarks and Grizzly Peak in Emigrant Wilderness under Tropical Clouds during September 2013
Lost Keys Lake
 

Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney
Trail Guide, Magazine, & High Sierra Backpacker's Trails and Topics Forums

2019
HIGH SIERRA BACKPACKER'S

Calendar

JANUARY

 

Important Seasonal Happenings, Transitions, Events & Dates
for
High Sierra Backpackers

 

Road Conditions, Resupply, Seasonal Transition Concerns, Permit Dates, Weather, Water, and Mosquitoes

 

 

Previous Years
2018

2017

 

THIS YEAR
News, Views, & Issues
2019
High Sierra
News
2019
Trail
Alerts
2018
Natural Meltdown
High Sierra
Backpacking
TOPICS
High Sierra
Backpacking
TRAILS
High Sierra
Backpacking
FITNESS
High Sierra
Backpacking
SKILLS

High Sierra
RESUPPLY
High Sierra
PERMITS
High Sierra
WEATHER
High Sierra
Trail
GUIDE
INDEX
High Sierra
Trail
MAPS
INDEX
High Sierra
Trail
MILES
INDEX
Download
FONT


2019

2019 INDEX

January          February         March         April         May         June

July         August         September         October         November         December

 

January
2019

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

TRAILHEAD


North Desolation Wilderness

Dicks and Fontanellis Lakes in the North Desolation Wilderness.
View North across Dicks and Fontanillis Lakes. Phipps Peak and Pass are the prominent peak in the middle-Right background. Note Middle Velma Lake nestled in below Phipps Peak. Our route from Meeks Bay on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe crossed Phipps Peak to join the Pacific Crest Trail in the Desolation Wilderness just a bit North of Middle Velma Lake.

Trail Guide           Map           Miles and Elevations

 

End of December 2018

January 2019

January       February       March       April       May       June     July     August     September       October       November       December

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

 

Happy New Year

of note:

 

 

FULL WINTER CONDITIONS
2019
Be it a Winter Season of drought or deluge, The Fall Gear has been stowed or complimented by the Heavy Gear of Winter.

What's Going On?
2018

See December of 2018 High Sierra Reports

Winter Gear Elements Required: October 31

Fall Gear Elements Required: October 9

 

 

What's Going On?
2017

See December of 2017 High Sierra Reports

FALL
2017
to
WINTER
2018

On September 15th we shifted from Summer to Fall Gear.

On November 3rd Winter Gear was Required.


After November 26 FULL Winter gear, skills, and fitness levels required.

 

 

All
High Sierra Weather Info



Latest Daily Snow Depth Summary

Daily Sierra Snowpack % of Normal pdf

Daily Snow-Water & Percent of Average

 

 

All Precipitation-Snow Data

 

All Snow Surveys

SWC & Snow Depth

 

 

 

Yosemite-Hoover-Desolation
&
John Muir Trail Hikers:

 

Time to
Order Next Year's Permits!

Reserved permits for June 2018 now available from Yosemite, Hoover, and Desolation Wilderness Areas. In other words, Yosemite, Desolation, and Hoover Wilderness Areas all offer advanced reservations about six months ahead of your desired hiking dates.

This means now is the time to get your JMT permit application, along with other popular hikes, into the Man.

 

 


All Permits

 

 

Yosemite Permits         Desolation Wilderness

 

 

1

Clear, Crisp
Winds Diminished

potential for a

Very
COLD
Night

Very Cold Last Night

 

2019

Persistant Blocking Ridge

Extended Clear Weather

 

 

REALTIME
High Sierra Crestline
Reporting Stations

(Compare with Dec 31st)

Echo Peak
7652 feet

Carson Pass
8388 feet

Ebbetts Pass
8660 feet

Leavitt Lake
9602 feet

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank

Deadman Creek
9250 feet

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet

Gem Pass
10750 feet

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet

Bishop Pass
11972 feet

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet

Crabtree Meadow
10,700 feet

 

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

 

 

 

 

 

LAST YEAR

NEXT WEEK

 

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

2018

US COLD PLUNGE
Central,
Central-South,
&
Northeast US:
Temps at, and Plunging to Record Levels, Continuing through New Year.

What's Happening Here?

Polar Vortex Weakening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Overcast and Warmer, with still Cold-sprinkles

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

 

2

Continued
Clear, Crisp
potential for a

Very
COLD
Night

Very Cold Last Night

 

2019

Persistant Blocking Ridge

Extended Clear Weather


WARM
Days

COLD
Nights

 

MODIS
High Sierra Satellite View

 

 

 

LAST YEAR

NEXT WEEK

 

 

TOP

 

 

 

Informative
"Normal" Vs. Now

Forcasts & Reality
vs.
Averages

 

 

Forecasts

All High Sierra
ZONE
FORECASTS

 

All High Sierra
POINT
FORECASTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

2018
January 2
HIGH SIERRA REPORT

What we're seeing today is one step in a transition between the last and the next in the series of vast, massive cells of persistant High Pressure air that have been covering the West Coast of California (if not the whole West Coast of North America) over the whole month of December.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 REPORT
Vast High in NE Pacific

 

 

 

 

3


Clear to Cloudy
potential for a


COLD
Night

Very Cold Last Night

 

2019

Persistant Blocking Ridge

Extended Clear Weather breaking today

Ridge not as strong as last year's...

WARM
Days

COLD
Nights

 

Last Snow Temp Readings
December 31, 2018

 

2019
Current Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
January 3.

N Sierra: 62%

Cen. Sierra:68%

S Sierra: 70%

Ca State: 67%

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

Next Reading
January 7

Last Year's Reading

 

Seasonal Progress

Predicted El Nino a Dud,
so far

The New Abnormal

 

 

THE SNOWPACK

GRAPHICS

Date-Adjustable High Sierra Snowpack Status

 

GRAPHICS

NOAA-NOHRSC
The High Sierra
1-3-19

 

SATELLITE SKY EYES

MODIS
High Sierra Satellite View

 

 

REPORTING
STATIONS

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables
by Watershed and Highway Corridor

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data

 

2018

2018
Pre-Storm
Current Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
January 3.

N Sierra: 21%

Cen. Sierra:29%

S Sierra: 20%

Ca State: 24%

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

2017 DEC 29 SNOW

 

 

 

2017
Stormy and Cool, but still Cold-regular precip, light intensity strengthening to moderate into late PM

2017
Today's Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temp

4

Cloudy to Stormy

Reno & San J
Winter Watch-Advisory

COOLED

HAZARDS

 

Seven Day
Freezing Temperature Probability

 

All
High Sierra Weather
And the factors creating it

2019
HIGH SIERRA
--Winter--
4th
Temp-Snow Check

Last Report:
December 31, 2018

Next Report:
January 6, 2018

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings after the last nine days of clear and cooling weather behind the big High of the Coast of USA.

Storm expected this evening, & next few days.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

A NEW WATER YEAR:
LAST YEAR
Total Precipitation

58 % of Average

 

A NEW WATER YEAR: Reservoirs

 

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report.
South Sierra Stations

"+/- & =" below are changes since last reading.

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

Rubicon 17" -2.0
7618 feet
(8.40 H2O) +.3
46 & 34 +/+

Echo Peak 31" -1"
7652 feet
(15.40 H2O) +0.1
50 & 37 +/+

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson Pass 29" -1
8388 feet
(8.80" H2O) +0.1
45 & 28 +/+

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Ebbetts Pass 33" -3
8660 feet
(12.90" H2O) +0.2
51 & 34 +/+

Leavitt Lake 45" -3
9602 feet, East Flank
(13.60" H20) +0.2
45 & 36 +/+

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
65 & 15
-/-

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek 13.29" +5.4
9250 feet, West Flank
(6.01" H20) +0.17
47 & 19 +/+

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tenaya Lake 33.59"
-0.63"
8163 feet, West Flank
(3.91") H20 =0.0
48 & 15 +/+

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
25.36" - 1.4"
(3.95") H20 = 0.00
52 & 11 +/+

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
26.06" −1.23
9.42" H20 (+.05)
43 & 21 +/+

Mammoth Mountain

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(9.32) H2O) =0.00
temps bad

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
37.88" Snow -1.86"
(11.20" H2O) +0.28
48 & 27 +/+

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow removed ")
(21.3 H2O) =0.0 suspect
54 & 25 +/+

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
12.10" Snow −1.3"
43 & 23 +/+

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
30.36" +0.8"
(x.xx" H2O +x.xx")
48 & 15 +/+
(station reporting again!)

Crabtree Meadow
10,700 feet
(.-- H2O) +0.06 (suspect)
-- & -- x/x

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

Clear for Nine Days,
Storm expected this evening.

 

5

Stormy
Light to Moderate Precip

STATUS REPORT

extended precip possible

 

Informative
"Normal" Vs. Now

Forcasts & Reality
vs.
Averages

 

Winds? Weather?

NorCal Graphics

SoCal & SW US

 

Precipitation

Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts:
RAIN FORECASTS

 

 

Let's look at the
Big Picture

The Pacific Ocean

Set this for 14 days
&
Display Loop Below

 

US Weather Map

 

All Maps

 

Forecasts

All High Sierra
ZONE
FORECASTS

 

All High Sierra
POINT
FORECASTS

 

 

All
High Sierra Weather
And the factors creating it

 

 

 

 

LAST YEAR

NEXT WEEK

 

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

Snow Depth & Temps

 

 

 

 

 

LAST YEAR

NEXT WEEK

 

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

2017
Clear and Cold
Huge tropical flow lining up from the Southwest, heavy precip expected from tomorrow night through next Friday...


2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps


7 Day Precip Forecast

2017
NOTE
La Nina still puttering along...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST YEAR

NEXT WEEK

 

 

TOP

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

6

Steady Stormy
Light to Moderate Precip

WINTER STORM
WARNING

Forecast Calendar

STATUS REPORT

extended precip possible

 

Stationary Frontline
along
Northwest Coast
of
USA

 

COOLED TEMPS

It's no longer warmer than normal, but not really cold, but a nice cold

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019
HIGH SIERRA
--Winter--
5th
Temp-Snow Check

Last Report:
January 4, 2018

Next Report:
Tomorrow

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings after the last day of steady precip, and it's still coming down!

Click the stations below for the latest reports.

Storms expected this evening, & next few days.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

A NEW WATER YEAR:
LAST YEAR
Total Precipitation

58 % of Average

 

A NEW WATER YEAR: Reservoirs

Noon readings:
Still coming down!

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report.
South Sierra Stations

"+/- & =" below are changes since last reading.

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

Rubicon 30" +13.0
7618 feet
(9.40 H2O) +1.0
37 & 23 -/-

Echo Peak 41" +10"
7652 feet
(16.40 H2O) +1.0
36 & 22 -/-

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson Pass 41" +12
8388 feet
(9.80" H2O) +1.0
32 & 19 -/-

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Ebbetts Pass 49" +16
8660 feet
(14.30" H2O) +1.4
31 & 18 -/-

Leavitt Lake 63" +18
9602 feet, East Flank
(14.80" H20) +1.2
25 & 17 -/-

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
58 & 29
-/+

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek 21.64" +8.35
9250 feet, West Flank
(6.61" H20) +0.6
25 & 13 -/-

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tenaya Lake 48.07"
+14.48"
8163 feet, West Flank
(3.91") H20 =0.0
30 & 15 -/=

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
40.80"+15.44"
(3.95") H20 = 0.00 ??
25 & 10 -/-

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
28.10" +2.04
9.43" H20 (+.1)
20 & 8 -/-

Mammoth Mountain

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(10.15) H2O) +0.83
temps bad

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
55.13" Snow +17.25"
(13.00" H2O) +1.80
24 & 14 -/-

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow removed ")
(21.5 H2O) +0.2 suspect
23 & 13 -/-

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
22.00" Snow +9.9"
20 & 10 -/-

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
38.60" +8.24"
(x.xx" H2O +x.xx")
19 & 5 -/-
(station reporting again!)

Crabtree Meadow
10,700 feet
(.-- H2O) +0.06 (suspect)
-- & -- x/x

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

24 hours of light to moderate precip ,
Low approaching & expected off N Cal Coast this evening.

 

 

2018, 6th

Snow Depth & Temps

 

 

 

 

2017
Storm Time
Tropical Pounding
RAIN ACROSS SIERRA CREST

Huge tropical flow transporting vast amount of warm moisture from the Southwest, heavy precip.

Raining Across the Sierra Crest

 

7

Cloudy Interlude
Not Much Precip

After a Huge Deposition
of
Precipitation

Which still leaves us below average, but looking at a line of storms this week.

2019
Current Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
January 7.

N Sierra: 79%
+17% in 4 days!!

Cen. Sierra:87%
+19% in 4 days!

S Sierra: 86%
+16% in 4 days!

Ca State: 84%
+17% in 4 days!

Last Reading
January 3

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

2018 snowpack

There was a widespread, steady moderate to light precip for about 36 hours

2019
HIGH SIERRA
--Winter--
6th
Temp-Snow Check

Last Report:
Yesterday

Next Report:
January 10, 2018

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings after the last day of steady precip, which continued after yesterday's reading!

Click the stations below for the latest reports.

Storms expected tomorrow evening, & next few days.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

A NEW WATER YEAR:
LAST YEAR
Total Precipitation

58 % of Average

 

A NEW WATER YEAR: Reservoirs

Noon readings:
Still coming down!

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report.
South Sierra Stations

"+/- & =" below are changes since last reading.

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

Rubicon 37" +7.0
7618 feet
(11.10 H2O) +1.7
36 & 30 -/+

Echo Peak 49" +8"
7652 feet
(18.00 H2O) +1.6
41 & 30 +/+

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson Pass 48" +7
8388 feet
(11.70" H2O) +1.9
33 & 28 +/+

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Ebbetts Pass 57" +8
8660 feet
(16.70" H2O) +2.4
36 & 28 +/+

Leavitt Lake 70" +7
9602 feet, East Flank
(17.30" H20) +2.5
33 & 26 +/+

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
49 & 27
-/-

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek 14.24" -7.4
9250 feet, West Flank
(7.43" H20) +0.82
30 & 24 +/+

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tenaya Lake 56.23"
+8.16"
8163 feet, West Flank
(3.91") H20 =0.0??
34 & 26 +/+

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
45.58"+4.78"
(3.95") H20 = 0.00 ??
31 & 22 +/+

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
48.11" +20.01
9.43" H20 (+.0) ???
22 & 28 +/+

Mammoth Mountain

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(11.55) H2O) +1.4
temps bad

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
68.28" Snow +13.15"
(15.28" H2O) +2.28
32 & 24 +/+

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow removed ")
(21.6 H2O) +0.1 suspect
39 & 24 +/+

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
23.90" Snow +1.9"
34 & 22 +/+

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
43.34" +4.74"
(x.xx" H2O +x.xx")
28 & 19 +/+
(station reporting again!)

Crabtree Meadow
10,700 feet
(.-- H2O) +0.06 (suspect)
-- & -- x/x

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

24+ hours of light to moderate precip ,
Next Low approaching & expected off N Cal Coast tomorrow evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Storm Time
Tropical Pounding
Rain on the Sierra Crest.

Ground Saturating, All Rivers Rising.

 

8

Increasingly
Cloudy Interlude
Not Much Precip until Late

 

Adjust the graphics below, from the 3rd, to the 7th, to see the scale of snowpack increase.

THE
CURRENT SNOWPACK

GRAPHICS

Date-Adjustable Multi-Aspect High Sierra Snowpack Status
THE THIRD

 

GRAPHICS

NOAA-NOHRSC
The High Sierra
1-3-19

 

SATELLITE SKY EYES

MODIS
High Sierra Satellite View

 

 

REPORTING
STATIONS

NEW
Temp & Snow Tables
by Watershed and Highway Corridor

 

Also See
All High Sierra Snowpack Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

9

Steady Stormy
Light to Moderate Precip

Front Crossing Coast

All Radar

 

HAZARDS

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018, 9th

Snow Depth & Temps

 

10

Cloudy-Foggy Interlude
Not Much Precip

 

Season Normal!

 

2019
Current Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
January 10.

N Sierra: 90%
+11% in 3 days!!

Cen. Sierra:89%
+2% in 3 days!

S Sierra: 90%
+4% in 3 days!

Ca State: 91%
+7% in 3 days!

Last Reading
January 7

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

2018 snowpack

 

 

 

2019
HIGH SIERRA
--Winter--
7th
Temp-Snow Check

Last Report:
7th

Next Report:
January 15, 2018

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings after the last day of steady precip, which terminated today.

Click the stations below for the latest reports.

Storms expected tomorrow evening, & next few days.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

A NEW WATER YEAR:
LAST YEAR
Total Precipitation

58 % of Average

 

A NEW WATER YEAR: Reservoirs

Noon readings:
Still coming down!

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report.
South Sierra Stations

"+/- & =" below are changes since last reading.

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

Rubicon 36" -1.0
7618 feet
(11.70 H2O) +0.6
38 & 29 +/-

Echo Peak 51 " +2"
7652 feet
(18.60 H2O) +0.6
42 & 29 +/-

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson Pass 48" =0
8388 feet
(12.30" H2O) +0.6
36 & 20 +/-

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Ebbetts Pass 52" -5
8660 feet
(17.80" H2O) +1.1
41 & 20 +/-

Leavitt Lake 76" +6
9602 feet, East Flank
(18.70" H20) +1.4
38 & 22 +/-

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
55 & 19
+/-

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek 13.37" -0.87
9250 feet, West Flank
(7.86" H20) +0.43
37 & 5 +/-

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tenaya Lake 53.87"
+2.36"
8163 feet, West Flank
(4.48") H20 +0.57
37 & 10 +/-

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
44.38" -1.2"
(4.85") H20 + .90 ??
42 & 0 +/-

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
45.36" -2.75
9.5" H20 (+.07)
32 & 5 +/-

Mammoth Mountain

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(12.15) H2O) +0.6
temps bad

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
65.53" Snow -2.75"
(16.76" H2O) +0.48
36 & 13 +/-

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow removed ")
(21.6 H2O) = 0.0 suspect
47 & 12 +/-

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
23.90" Snow =0.0"
34 & 9 =/-

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
42.99" -0.35"
(x.xx" H2O +x.xx")
32 & 13 +/-
(station reporting again!)

Crabtree Meadow
10,700 feet
(12.01 H2O) +12.01 (suspect)
-- & -- x/x

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

24+ hours of light to moderate precip,
Next Low approaching & expected off N Cal Coast tomorrow.

 

 

2018

Snow Depth & Temps

 

2018
Post-Storm
Current Snowpack
:

Percent of Average for
January 10.

N Sierra: 18%

Cen. Sierra: 30%

S Sierra: 25%

Ca State: 26%

2019, the 7th, above

11

Light Showers

 

All
High Sierra Weather
And the factors creating it

 

 

Precipitation
FORECASTS

Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts:
RAIN FORECASTS
&
Best Models

 

Winds? Weather?

NorCal Graphics

SoCal & SW US

 

All Radar

Roads

 

 

2018 snowpack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Tropical Pounding
Storm Time

Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

Serious snow accumulation...

 

2017
NOTE
La Nina still puttering along...

12

Clearing
into
Fine Afternoon

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

13

High Clouds
bit windy

 

Last Snow Depth
10th

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

14

Light Rains
Sprinkling

 

HAZARDS

 

 

 

THE
CURRENT SNOWPACK

GRAPHICS

Date-Adjustable Multi-Aspect High Sierra Snowpack Status
THE THIRTEENTH

 

GRAPHICS

NOAA-NOHRSC
The High Sierra
1-13-19

 

SATELLITE SKY EYES

MODIS
High Sierra Satellite View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018, 14th

Snow Depth & Temps

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

15

Light to Moderate Precipitation
Increasing

MANY
WARNINGS

WINTER STORM
BLIZZARD WARNING!!
CALENDAR

WINTER STORM WARNINGS

Fire Zone
FLASH FLOOD WARNING

YOS VALLEY
FLOOD WARNING

WIND WARNINGS
Up & Down Sierra

Any semblance of a High Pressure blocking ridge has been shattered...

 

 

2019
HIGH SIERRA
--Winter--
8th
Temp-Snow Check

Last Report:
10th

Next Report:
January ?, 2018

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings aftert today's steadily increasing precip.

Snows declined until today... Then exploded.

Click the stations below for the latest reports.

Storms expected tomorrow evening, & next few days, as a major Low drags a wet front across California.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

A NEW WATER YEAR:
LAST YEAR
Total Precipitation

58 % of Average

 

A NEW WATER YEAR: Reservoirs

Noon readings:
Still coming down!

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report.
South Sierra Stations

"+/- & =" below are changes since last reading.

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

Rubicon 46" +10.0
7618 feet
(12.70 H2O) +1.0
30 & 27 -/-

Echo Peak 59 " +8"
7652 feet
(19.40 H2O) +0.8
31 & 26 -/-

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson Pass 56" +8
8388 feet
(13.40" H2O) +1.1
30 & 23 -/+

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Ebbetts Pass 61" +9"
8660 feet
(19.10" H2O) +1.3
29 & 20 -/=

Leavitt Lake 82 " +6
9602 feet, East Flank
(18.70" H20) =0.0
28 & 21 -/-

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
46 & 11
-/-

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek 12.93" −0.44
9250 feet, West Flank
(8.24" H20) +0.38"
27 & 20 -/+

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tenaya Lake 58.51"
+4.64"
8163 feet, West Flank
(4.89") H20 +0.41
29 & 22 -/+

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
43.23" -1.15"
(4.94") H20 + .09
37 & 9 -/+

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
45.76" +0.4
9.51" H20 (+.01)
29 & 8 -/+

Mammoth Mountain

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(12.8) H2O) +0.65
temps bad

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
72.43" Snow +6.9"
(16.76" H2O) +6.9
28 & 17 -/+

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow removed ")
(21.7 H2O) +0.1 suspect
30 & 18 -/+

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
29.90" Snow +6.0"
26 & 16 -/+

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
50.27" +7.28"
(x.xx" H2O +x.xx")
26 & 11 -/-
(station reporting again!)

Crabtree Meadow
10,700 feet
(21.40 H2O) +0.39 (suspect)
-- & -- x/x

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

24+ hours of light to moderate precip,
Next Low approaching & expected off N Cal Coast tomorrow.

 

 

2018

Snow Depth & Temps

16

Moderate to Heavy
Persistant, Steady
Precipitation


HAZARDS

Roads

All Radar

 

 

2019
Current Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
January 16.

N Sierra: 91%
+1% in 6 days!!

Cen. Sierra:90%
+1% in 6 days!

S Sierra: 87%
-3% in 6 days!

Ca State: 90%
-1% in 6 days!

Last Reading
January 10

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

Compare Above
with
2017 & 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


17

 

All
High Sierra Weather
And the factors creating it

 

Check this
GOES-17 EAST PACIFIC CLEAN IR
Satellite View

A Selection
of
Satellite Views

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

Precipitation
FORECASTS

Quant Precip Forecasts:
RAIN FORECASTS
&
Best Models

 

Winds? Weather?

NorCal Graphics

SoCal & SW US

 

Roads

All Radar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

Snow Depth & Temps

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
January 20.

N Sierra: 17%

Cen. Sierra: 27%

S Sierra: 21%

Ca State: 22%

Last: Jan 3

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

2017
Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
January 20.

N Sierra: 143%

Cen. Sierra:168%

S Sierra: 197%

Ca State: 168%

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

Next 2017 Reading
Feb. 3, 2017

 

 

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018, 21st

Snow Depth & Temps

 

 

 

22

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high
& low temps

23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

 

25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

Snow Depth & Temps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

 

26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
January 26.
(Change since Jan 20.)

N Sierra: 27%
(+10%)

Cen. Sierra: 35%
(+7%)

S Sierra: 24%
(+3%)

Ca State: 30%
(+8%)

Last: Jan 20

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT WEEK

 

TOP

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

27

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT MONTH

 

TOP

 

28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017, 28th
Clear Blue Skies,
High off CA Coast

 

 

2016
Sierra approaching season-normal snow and precip for first time in years.

 

29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT MONTH

 

TOP

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
January 31.
(Change since Jan 26.)

N Sierra: 29%
(+2%)

Cen. Sierra: 35%
(+0%)

S Sierra: 21%
(-3%)

Ca State: 30%
(+0%)

Last: Jan 26

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

FEB 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

FEB 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST WEEK

NEXT MONTH

 

TOP

Top

 

End of Last Month
December 2018

 

2019

January       February       March       April       May       June

July     August     September       October       November       December

 

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar

2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

2018 Calendar

 

 

2018 NOTES

 

2018
A CRITICAL YEAR

SUSPENDED BETWEEN GROWING POPULATION AND DIMINISHING GLOBAL FERTILITY

 

End of Last Month
December 2018

Next Month
February
2018

 

2017 NOTES

Early Jan
So far we've had a typically strange Winter, as we've increasingly had for the past couple of decades. The Fall and early Winter storm activity we've seen so far this season have all come out of the Southwest and West, rather than the typical-traditional Winter storm track out of the Northwest. These storms have been sufficient to put a reasonable, if low, percentage of normal snowpack onto the High Sierra for this time of year. My concern is the reasons why. See my note of December 29, 2016. So far, the conditions into early Jan:

Weak, warm Arctic.

High temps, low differential between lowest Lows and highest Highs. Little temp difference ahead/behind front lines.

Rebirth of the Great High?

Mid Month
Terrific transport of warm tropical moisture out of Southwest followed up by cold flow out of West; still nothing out the Northwest. What a world!

 

History:
2016 NOTE
"2016’s El Nino weather is forming up for a reasonable snowpack for the first time in five years. 2014 and 2015 were the earliest openings of the high trails I remember. The year before was one of the latest. Extremes have become the new normal. This year's El Nino is setting up for a high probability of extremes rain and snow hitting the West Coast of the US. Where? is the question. The El Nino tropical flows have been transported North around California by a persistent ridge of High Pressure.

Let's see how that sucker stands up, now that heavy tropical activity has begun North of Indonesia. (And then stood down) "

2017
Ironic Note: The huge El Nino of 2016, which indicates heavy precip, delivered a below-average snowpack to the Sierra last year. This year's La Nina, which typically indicates a cold, dry Winter, is delivering a huge snowpack.

NOTE
JANUARY 2017 ASSESMENT
January 20
Wow. Finally, a Winter. A real Winter. Not out of the typical direction we would expect Winter to come from (the NW), but at this point, who's quibbling? Not I. The real interesting part I take note of was the rain across the Sierra Crest on the 6th and 7th. Well, that's what we get when our Winter is coming out the Southwest, rather than the Northwest.

These same warm tropical flows during Winter have also been pushing increasing mid-Winter floods and rain turning into vast ice storms into the mid-West and even the South for years and years now, regardless of if these storms cross or go around the Sierra on their way East.
This change in the direction and character of our Winter Weather (from the Southwest, rather than the Northwest; being tropically warmer, wetter, and passing around, rather than across the Sierra) has not yet brought its worse effects to the Sierrra. Well, besides a deepening and enduring drought. Despite this interesting tropical respite we are experiencing, actually bringing tropical storms from Dec 2016 through today (Jan 20, 2017), "breaking" the drought we've been experiencing for the past six years.

Besides rain falling into the Sierra during mid-Winter not being "banked" as snow for the subsequent Summer, the fact we are watching rain falling on the Crest in January offers a bad omen for the storms of Spring. The Arctic has remained warm so far this Winter. This has weakened the N Jet Stream through the Gulf Alaska. Stationary Lows in Gulf Alaska have pulled significant tropical moisture Northeast into the Sierra.
We will see some amazing thaw events If that trend driving our Winter so far, of stationary or wandering Lows in Gulf Alaska sucking warm tropical storms out of the Southwest, continues into the Spring Thaw.

We could very well see the same transport mechanism of warm and dense precip out of the sub-tropics, that is currently driving snow accumulation in the Sierra, strip the High Sierra of snow as quickly as it was laid down. These warm conditions and storm transport out of the Southwest opens enduring prospects for both current and late-season rain on a deep, warm snowpack, then covered by more snow. These conditions in the sky and on the ground bring certain short and long term hazard effects into play.

Danger-Danger
In the short term we are faced with a range of very bad layering conditions in the snowpack. Most storms require a few days to fall down the mountain (avalanches) and for the snow itself to compress for easier travel. There are always danger zones left behind we must identify.
What we saw with the current deposition pattern of snow, rain, snow, and rain across the Sierra Crest will leave many areas where faults in the snowpack are preserved, far beyond the typical times it takes for gravity to settle snow. Areas that would typically be trustworthy will be untrustworthy.

These rain and snow layers will leave enduring zones of dangerous avalanche conditions that will remain until they are triggered or melt. Many of these danger zones will be beyond our ability to observe, and within zones we would normally consider safe by good common sense observations. Beware! That is why we observe so carefully. Our observations of weather resources, such as the real time reporting stations above, have given us temp and snow depth reports that tell us that rain has fallen on this year's snowpack. That tells us the snowpack contains significant hidden faults and threats. Beware!

Our technical reports give us valuable safety information if we intrepret them correctly.

In the longer trem of the enduring drought this rain falling on the Sierra Crest that we saw during the rains of the 6th and 7th fortells the potential for a seriously weak snowpack, both through the threat of Winter rains triggering a serious and rapid diminishment of the Winter snowpack, or even worse, triggering a precipitious thaw during Spring.

What I am most seriously concerned with at this time is the mechanism driving these powerful tropical flows setting up any time, but most especially as the Spring Thaw begins, when rising temps and river flows can threaten some serious Spring flooding. The whole San J Valley has been under 40 feet of water before, and it will happen again. This year is still "in the running" for epic outcomes.

Great Flood of 1862, Wiki

BOTTOM LINES
Drought-wise? Though we have a hell of a lot of snow and water now (finally), we certainly cannot count ourselves out of this drought until we've actually captured it. Our current snowpack now is only as good as it will be on the first day of Spring, and that's only beneficial if we can catch these Spring flows for Summertime use. That's the trick, and the prospect of warm rains makes that task even trickier.

Rain falling across the Sierra Crest during "Winter" is an instant and serious diminishment of "banked" snow providing water through Spring. Warm rains falling on the Crest during mid-Winter are also an "Omen," warning us of the much higer potential for warm rains much later during Spring, when the prospect of rain falling on a warm, wet, heavy snowpack of Spring gives pause to water managers (and all sensible folk) all over California.

Rains falling during the Spring Thaw creates a powerfull flow requiring water managers let most of the surging power of the Spring Thaw, and the water it is traveling through, flow straight through their system into the sea. Trying to contain/retain this type of power will bust all the dams.

 

The 22nd
Traditional Storm Track trying to form up, meaning a North Jet Stream across the Gulf Alaska from the Aleutians to the NW corner of the USA. Much cooler Storms/front lines now coming out of West and NW, rather than the warm storms out of the Southwest we experienced through December into mid January. Will this traditional cooling trend strengthen and deepen, or break back down into warm storms out of the Southwest?

The 24th
This is the third clear day during the Series of Storms that have struck since January 1. That adds up to twenty-one days of one degree or another of precipitation during the month of Janurary, so far. Even the days between the front lines brought rain, up to the 24th. Thus a huge snowpack sits on the Sierra, and much of the rest of California's soils are saturated, and our rivers, lakes, and creeks have risen to full, if not flood stages.
The environmental balance has shifted from deep Drought to fear of Flood and Slide. These radical storms and these radical changes in seasonal trends are signs of an unstable system flopping between extremes. I can't wait to see what happens next... Will the East Pac Ridge build in? Will tropical storms continue to deluge us from the Southwest? Will a normal storm track open up out of the Northwest? Will all the above happen in some strange "weather jumble?" We will see.

COLD WARNING

The 31st
High built in off Coast of California from 24th to the 29th, and is presently breaking down. It's role deflecting the flow of the Tropical Transport Mechanism to our North is now shifting to directing it towards us.

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar          2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

Permits
Yosemite National Park and Desolation Wilderness accept reservations six months in advance for Summer backpacking dates.

June 2016 reservations are available in January, July in February, and so on.

Yosemite Permits

Desolation Wilderness

Hoover Wilderness

 

 


2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar  

2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

2018 Calendar

 

February
2019

BACKGROUND
The trajectory of the cold, rain, and snows of January provide both excellent backpacking experiences and establish the terms, a baseline for this year’s transition into Spring Conditions.

Regular storm activity laid atop a deep pack of Winter snows wrapped in cold temps indicate a long Winter into Spring transition.

Light snows and irregular storm activity sprinkled on a thin snow pack under high temperatures indicates an early and rapid transitions into Spring and Summer conditions.

Tahoe to Whitney

Top of Page

 

Last Month
End of December, 2018

 

Next Month
February 2019

 

Top of January

 

2019

January         February         March         April         May         June

July         August         September         October         November         December

 

 

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar

2016 Calendar          2017 Calendar

2018 Calendar

 

End of December, 2017

 

 

Trailhead
 

 

Contact
Alex Wierbinski

top of page

Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney

Your guide to backpacking the Sierra Crest, including the Tahoe to Yosemite, Pacific Crest, and John Muir Trails

top of page

© 2017 Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail